The Big Trip: Paris

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Fine, three weeks (and six cities) isn’t huge for some people, but it seemed like a long time for me. This trip was preceded by two weeks of being homeless in London, upon my return I will spend another week in a hotel, followed by an 8-day trip to New York City. It’s a long time to be unstable! In any case, it’s nice to be without responsibilities for a while.

Paris was my first stop. I’ve got nicer photos than I have memories. This was the first time that I was privy to the negative aspects of the city that most people bark at me when I tell them how many times I’ve visited (this was #5 in a year).

Firstly, it was cold. I can’t hold that against the city because it was freezing everywhere. Even the south of Spain was confused. But when you couple the feeling of being uncomfortable in your winter coat with a sore neck from carrying your suitcase up and down and up and down the metro steps, and several encounters with people who woke up on the wrong side of the bed, it weighs on you.

It wasn’t all bad…

Sacre Coeur, Paris

Sacre Coeur, Paris

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But things went a bit sour from here.

I visited Versailles. I’d been before, with Jenny, to see the grounds and the fountains. This time I thought I’d go in. I got there just after it opened, on a Tuesday in late March, to find a two hour line that snaked through the main entrance. This is basically what I saw once I got inside:

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My view of Versailles

You can’t tell me that anyone enjoyed seeing the rooms like this. My visit was rushed, it took me a mere 45 minutes to see the interior of the palace, pushed along by the hoard of people looking like they were trying to exit Bond Street station a 8:30.

After two days, I took a train to Tours to see some castles in the Loire Valley. Upon my return, my bag decided to do this:

Thanks, Paris

Thanks, Paris

The best part about this was that I was planning on throwing this thing out once this trip was over so that I didn’t need to take it back to Canada. Instead, I went to the Galeries Lafayette and spent nearly €200 on a new suitcase, and another carry on bag to fit more things for when I was taking my budget airline flights and had to remove 4kg from my luggage. I spent lots of time wondering if my card would be cancelled by the bank for security reasons.

I was so frustrated that this was happening that I forgot to change out of my bright white Nike running shoes, and waltzed into the fancy department store with them. Fab.

The next morning, I got on a plane bound for Stockholm. Sadly, I have to say I was relieved.

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